Something happened around a year ago, which I’ve been meaning to tell my friend C about and which I keep forgetting to do. I’m not usually forgetful but we always find so much to talk about that there’s never enough time to cover everything. Besides, our last few meetings have been very future based and filled with plotting and scheming for an upcoming joint adventure/project/creation…
Anyway, they say if you don’t want to forget something, you should write it down… So I’ll write it here as my blog is harder to misplace than my notebook…
A year ago, I did a very evil thing… I’m not proud of myself but I’m not exactly ashamed either. On one level, I guess it could be argued that it was kind of unethical but on another you could say it was a sort of revenge best served up cold.
A gloriously sunny day, I went out for a walk with Mr S. We found ourselves ambling along to a big open park not far away and strolling across the grass, we noticed some kind of event being set up.
I spotted straight away costumes from Alice in Wonderland and it appeared as though a caucus race was not far away. The first proper chunky book I read was A in W, so of course I was going to go down the rabbit hole…
Moving closer, I noticed a woman setting up a stall – Free Tarot Readings! Her back was towards me. Mr S spotted her also – One of your flaky mates? I laughed oh I doubt it, I don’t mix with those types! Fucking hippies!
The woman turned around, we were still quite a distance away… Oh! I know her! Where do I know that face from? Hmmm… The answer didn’t come immediately… We drifted off, enjoyed the sun, strolled a lap of the park, paused to sit down… I glanced in her direction again… Bingo! Oh! Now I remember who she is! I’m going for a reading! I’m going to fuck with her!
Mr S is aghast – What? Wtf Karen? What do you mean you’re going to fuck with her? Why would you do that?
I said to him – Remember that bloody awful event me and C did just before Christmas about 5 years ago? He nods… Remember how I told you how the organiser booked 3 lots of tarot readers? Yeah? Remember how I said the one’s who had been booked for the 3rd floor spent half the day down on ground floor, staring across at me and C and bad mouthing us, commenting about our prices and saying that we weren’t even doing ‘proper’ readings and we were stealing all their clients? Yeah? Well that’s her… Her and her husband. In fact, now I think more on it, you know them from donkey’s years ago… I seem to remember you telling me a story about jumping over fires in the woods?
Oh! That pair! Yeah… They always thought they owned every patch!
That’s it, I’m off!
Karen! Come back!
Nope! You’re not the boss of me!
Karen! Don’t be a shit!
I’m not being a shit! She’s posted up free readings, I’m taking her up on it!
Karen, you wouldn’t like it if someone toyed with you…
Mr S? Jesus fucking Christ! Do you know how many times I’ve had undercover readers try to smoke me out? I love that shit! Let them go the whole reading thinking you’ve not clocked on, then slam dunking them at the end. I’m going! I want to see if she busts me!
Well, I’m not coming with you, you evil old bag…
Oh, go on! You should get a reading too!
Off I piss, skipping across the grass… Ooops bollox! Best tone that down… I don’t want to look like a hippy…
I walk up to her stall and loiter awkwardly pretending I’m summoning up the courage to go over. She faffs and farts around fiddling with her table cloth… She doesn’t engage with me nor encourage me over…
Hi? Tarot Readings? How much?
Oh… OK… Can I have a go?
Yes, sit down.
I look her square in the face… Surely she’ll recognise me? Nope… Not a single flicker of recognition…
Do you know anything about tarot?
Oh… What should I say? I’m not someone who is comfortable with lieing… I don’t want to tell the whole truth so I go with – I know a little. I’m comfortable with ‘I know a little’ it’s vague yet also true as the more I learn, the more I realise how much more there is to learn… I wonder if she’ll read my tone and suss that I’m downplaying my hand?
Oh! Well I’VE been reading for 45 years! Just sit for a second whilst I shuffle my cards.
I think to myself – wow 45 years and still you don’t have the basic manners to introduce yourself or ask my name… OK… Game on! I look at her cards, RWS… Yeah… Old but certainly not worn in and weathered… I watch her shuffle… It’s not the worst shuffle I’ve seen but it doesn’t cry out seasoned card slinger… Hey! One of your cards is flipped over.
She pauses to search the deck… Eventually she finds the card and pulls out the Knight of Wands – Hmm you’ve got a fast eye to spot him?
Not really, I used to play poker quite a lot. (Another white lie… Or red herring? I used to deal poker but I want to plant the seed that I’m used to shuffling so she doesn’t clock me as a tarot reader). She puts him to one side as my significator and tells me again she’s been reading for 45 years…
She fans the cards across the table and explains what she wants me to do…
Cool! I’m not allowed to shuffle so I’m not going to blow my cover on that front. Oh, you want me to pick out 6 cards? What from anywhere? Any I like? What one at time? Or you want all 6 now?
She repeats the instructions to me like I’m a little on the special side and reminds me again that she’s been reading for 45 years…
I slide out cards… She turns them over one by one… EMPEROR… CHARIOT… I stiffle my laughter… Oh the RWS is on to me, warning her the boss is taking her for a ride… She misses the joke and parrots by rote lwb meanings that fail to string together into a story… She turns the rest of the cards and the colour drains from her face to see all 6 are majors.
Oh… How odd! 45 years and I rarely see that…
See what? What’s the matter? Is it something bad?
She looks me properly in the face for the first time since I’ve sat down… I meet her eyes and raise a quizzical eyebrow – what? What is it? It’s something bad isn’t it?
Hmmm… You’re… Hmmm…You’re… She pauses to scan me up and down and she frowns and looks confused… You’re a VERY spiritual person?
I smile… Nah… I’m a very ordinary person… I’m not into all that… I doubt very much I’d be able to it properly…
Again she starts to talk about how she’s been reading for 45 years… There’s a kerfuffle from the tent behind her… Two stilts burst through the flaps… It’s the Mad March Hare, flat on his back, scrambling to get up… The White Rabbit appears also on stilts trying to help up MMH. Help! Help!
I’m about ready to cry with laughter. I stand up, I’m sorry I’m of no use, the most help I can be is to leave the scene before I wet myself!
Thanks for the reading!
Oh! How was it?
It was an interesting point of view…
I wry smile and I’m amused that she still hasn’t introduced herself and certainly doesn’t seem to have remembered me… I walk away a few steps… Then I turn… I call her by name Hey Lxxxx, thanks! Nice to meet you! Give my love to Txxx (her husband).
Thanks! Wait! What? How do you know my name? Who are you?
I smile, turn and walk away… I call back over my shoulder… Oh I’m nobody… Just a passing stranger… I head off towards the sound of live music as I don’t need to be psychic to know that that’s where Mr S will be.